The recent refinement and computerization of intravital microscopy have permitted us to monitor microcirculation in vivo with minimal invasion. Here, we report on the first findings made with the use of a pencil-lens intravital microscope as applied to the ischemic rat kidney. Peritubular capillary and glomerular blood flow were monitored under basal conditions, during renal artery occlusion, and immediately after release of the clamp. Erythrocyte velocity was calculated as an angle in consecutive spatiotemporal images. Intravital videomicroscopy during the reperfusion period showed intermittent cessation and partial recovery of blood flow in both peritubular and glomerular capillaries. Blood flow was uniformly orthograde under control conditions; however, the retrograde flow occurred on reperfusion. The patency of peritubular capillaries was partially compromised during the early reperfusion period but rapidly recovered. The recovery of glomerular microcirculation occurred faster than that of peritubular capillaries. We suggest that a functional vasculopathy develops very early in the course of ischemia-reperfusion in superficial cortical microvasculature and is more pronounced in peritubular capillaries, thus accounting for the development of patchy injury of tubular epithelia.